The Moon in the Dark

Long ago, the Monsters and Humans fought a great war. The Monsters lost, and were sealed in the Underground. It would take the power of seven human souls to break the barrier that kept them imprisoned. They only had six. And so the Monsters waited and hoped, praying that another human would find their way to the Underground. Some thought the seventh soul would give their King the strength to break the barrier. Some dreamed of a human who would be their friend, and save them all...or had nightmares of one who would bring back the war.
...but nobody came.
...but somepony did.
Eons after the war, with no way to tell how much time had passed above, a tiny blue filly with wings and horn fell into the underground, calling for her Mama. None knew the poor creature's nature or origins...but her soul was powerful with magic, even more so than a human soul.
None can know what will come...of this little 'Woona'.


8. Facing the Past

Toriel continued to be astounded at how rapidly Woona assimilated the magical knowledge she was able to provide the little pony.  Monsters were born with an instinctive knowledge of how to use their magic, and developed it over time of practice.  Humans lacked that instinct, but could - with study and practice - learn to cast any type of magic once they developed their abilities enough to cast.  But Woona seemed to possess an instinctive understanding of magic itself.  She could readily use the magics she arrived knowing - such as telekinesis - and seemed to be able to rapidly master any spell she came across of Monster magic.  Her fire magic was already nearly as strong as Toriel's own, and Toriel had started her on runic study - the ways monsters bound magic to objects - in order to avoid the awkward moment of testing fire against each other, only for her own to fail against the little pony's.  She seemed far more strongly connected to the magical fields human magic drew from than any human ever was...and the strength of her soul gave her magic a lot of staying power.

This was not to say Woona was particularly skilled in the proper use of her magic.  She had taken Toriel's lessons of peaceful coexistence to heart, flat out refusing to learn combat applications for her spells.  This only made Toriel worry all the more for what might happen if Woona left the Ruins...and stretched her creativity to find ways to keep Woona engaged in her home, for fear that boredom might prove lethal.

But sometimes, Woona caught Toriel so off guard that she couldn't help but wonder if - in an odd sort of way - it was the Underground that wasn't ready for Woona...



"Mommy!  Mommy!  Lookit!" Woona called out, running into the dining room with her saddlebags and rushing up to where Toriel sat in her reading chair.  "Look what I did!"

Setting her book aside, Toriel leaned forward.  "Show me, Woona," she replied eagerly.

Smiling, Woona held up her left saddlebag, the one that was for holding items.  She'd altered the runes on the outside, as it now only had the spatial adaption and weight adjustment runes that allowed her to put objects that were too large or too heavy for the opening into the bag.  The ones that defined the size of the contained interior space had been removed.  "See?"

Toriel blinked, frowning.  "But without those other runes, how will you-"

Giggling, Woona opened the bag and showed her the inside.  Eight pouches lined the inside, each with runes inscribed.  The runes on the pouches included the ones from the right saddlebag, which held gold...except the part of the rune that defined it for holding 'gold' had been replaced by the rune for a variable, used for calculating magical equations.  Two of the pouches also had runes for heat on them.  "See?"

Toriel blinked.  "I see what you've done...but I'm not entirely sure what it means..."

Woona giggled.  Reaching into one of the 'hot' pouches, she pulled out a warm slice of butterscotch/cinnamon pie.  She then put it back in the pouch.  "Another slice to demonstrate?" she begged.

Deciding to humor her, Toriel cut her another slice of that day's dinner pie.  She then watched in amazement as Woona put it into the same pouch, with no signs of the pouch or bag straining.  She also pulled five spider doughnuts and three spider ciders out of two other pouches to show her what had happened.  "How...?" Toriel asked, amazed.

Woona giggled.  "I made my inventory stack!" Woona proclaimed proudly.  "I can hold eight types of items now...and as many of that type of item as I can hold gold!"

Toriel shook her head in amazement.  "Where do you get these ideas of yours?" she asked.

Woona shrugged.  "I rub my neck stone."

"...neck stone?" Toriel asked, confused.

"The doggy gave it to me," Woona explained, bringing her hoof to the red crystal embedded in the torc around her neck.  "When I rub it, I see the holes in the magic, and then I fill them in."

Toriel attempted to examine the torc...


The mystery refused.


...but she was unable to see anything unusual about it.  Shrugging, she smiled at Woona.  "Well, I think you deserve a reward for coming up with something so amazing.  What would you like?"

Woona scratched her chin in thought.  "Can you tell me more about humans?" she asked hopefully.

A flash of pain and worry raced across Toriel's face.  "I'd...rather not," she admitted.  "That's...a painful part of our history."

Woona frowned, rubbing the stone.  There was something else she wanted to know about, but she was pretty certain asking about the photo directly wouldn't go over well.

A question arose in her mind, and she realized just how much she wanted that answer.  "Do I have a Daddy?" she asked eagerly.

Toriel bit her lip, looking away.  "That's...complicated, Woona."  When she looked back, she saw Woona patiently waiting for an answer.  Sighing, Toriel sat back to explain, making sure not to give any details she felt Woona wasn't ready for.  "A long time ago, my husband and I lived together with our two sons.  One was a Monster like us...but the other was a human who had fallen into our world from above, much as you did.  But...something terrible happened, and we lost them both.

"Then Asgore...he did something terrible.  I...could not forgive him.  And...because of that terrible decision, many more terrible things have happened.  He...has a lot to answer for.  But...all I do make sure our son's grave is well tended...and decorated with the golden flowers he loved so much."

Rising to her feet, she turned towards the kitchen.  "Please, Woona...don't bring this up again."

Woona nodded softly.  "Okay..."



Woona carefully made her way back through the ruins to where she had first fallen.  She had snuck out of the house after Toriel had gone to bed for the night, knowing that what she was about to do was something Toriel would likely not approve of.  She had put a few things together, and felt she knew what she had to do.

Toriel was hurting because her family had been torn apart.  So Woona would make the pain go away by bringing the family back together.  Toriel's birthday was coming up after all, and what better present could she give?  But she knew she couldn't do it alone.  She would need help.  And she'd felt a presence surrounding her when she'd first awoken on that bed of golden flowers...what she now knew was a grave.

With her dark adjusted eyes, she was easily able to wend her way through the Ruins, all the way back to where a shaft of moonlight now shone upon the golden flowers.  Stepping into it, she felt her magic growing stronger.  It was now or never.  Taking in a deep breath, she called to the one buried there, speaking his name.  "...Chara."

The shadows seemed to surge around her, the temperature dropping until her breath fogged the air.  Light seemed to flicker in and out around her, and a creeping sense of dread seemed to overwhelm her.

A figure slowly stepped out of the shadows, not quite entering the circle of moonlight.  The figure was quite a bit taller than Woona, maybe coming up to Toriel's waist.  She recognized a 'human' from images in the books in the house.  This one was wearing brown pants and a green-and-yellow horizontally striped shirt.  He smiled at her as he approached, his eyes glowing red.  "Well, well, well..." he murmured.  "I never expected one like you to summon me."

"'re Chara," Woona murmured worriedly.  "M-Mama Toriel's...human child..."

"I was," Chara replied softly.  "I haven't been for a long time.  When I died...I changed.  Rage...hatred...bloodlust...that's me.  The desire for strength above all else...the hunger for power...that bit of me exists in everyone, everywhere.  And when they give into it...when they call me...I emerge."  He looked Woona over.  "But don't have that inside you...not yet.  And so I appear...somewhat different.  Why do you summon me?"

"B-because I want to give...Mama back her family!" Woona insisted, trying to stand tall despite the terror gripping her very soul.

The sound that echoed throughout the cavern was soulless, vile, and grim.  She barely recognized it as laughter.  "Impossible," Chara stated bluntly.  "You summon me for pipe dreams.  You bore me."  He started to fade away as he stepped back into shadows.

"You're wrong!" Woona proclaimed.  "And I'll prove it to you!  I'm going to save everyone, and befriend them all, and bring Mommy and Daddy back together, once Daddy apologizes for being a poopyhead!"

Chara paused.  "And how will you prove it to me?" he asked, curious.

"Come with me!" Woona requested.

Chara turned and stared at her.  "I have no soul of my own," he pointed out.  "Without a soul, I cannot leave my grave..."

"Then ride in mine!" Woona offered before she could think of the consequences of what she was saying.

Chara's grin widened.  Turning he stalked towards her, becoming more and more solid as he approached.  Stepping into the moonlight, he reached out, his hand gripping her horn.  She winced, but did not flinch back, standing her ground as much as she could as the wraith before her funneled itself into her, the shadowy energy sinking into her very soul.



Chara found himself amused at how trusting Woona was.  Did she really believe he would simply sit quietly and watch her attempts to save everyone?  He had his own purpose, and with her as his vessel, nothing could stop him from carrying it out.

As he anchored himself completely within her soul, he flexed, seeing what kind of hold he had...only to find he had none.  He thrashed and writhed around, amazed at the strength of the soul he was now anchored to, and at how readily a child so young was resisting his every attempt to conquer her.

And then he felt it.  The force that contained him.  The power that gave her strength.  The energy that drove her.  He couldn't help but chuckle.  "Let's see what you're made of," he murmured softly at the back of Woona's thoughts.

Just what effect would this much DETERMINATION have upon the world?  He found himself eager to know.

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